Cape Town - Western Province are worried about an injury to
new scrumhalf recruit Jano Vermaak.
Vermaak injured his finger in last week’s loss to the Blue
Bulls in Pretoria and could not be considered for this week’s clash against the
Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
With Nic Groom released to represent the Barbarians in
London this weekend, Vermaak was in line to start against the Cheetahs, but his
injury provides a chance for youngster Godlen Masimla to start in the No 9
Louis Schreuder will be the reserve scrumhalf.
According to WP coach John Dobson, Vermaak’s finger is not
broken, but they are worried.
“We didn’t think there would be a problem, but he currently can’t
even pick up a phone,” Dobson said at the team announcement on Tuesday.
Dobson though is confident that Masimla will be able to step
up to the plate.
“We’re particularly excited about Godlen Masimla’s first
start at this level. Dawie Snyman (assistant coach) and I first spotted him as
a raw 20-year-old in 2012 and he has come through the ranks from UWC, our
Under-21s and our Vodacom Cup set-up. This is a great opportunity for him to
show what he can do,” said Dobson.
WP beat the Cheetahs 9-3 at a wet Newlands two weeks ago and
Dobson is wary of a backlash in Bloemfontein on Friday.
“The Cheetahs will be eyeing up this match as a one to win -
they’re at home against a team that lost heavily a few days ago and they ran us
close in Cape Town two weeks ago,” said the WP mentor.
“At the same time, we know we need to win and win well, but
we need to remain controlled and focused on the plan at hand in order to
prevent a repeat of last week.”
Friday’s clash at the Free State Stadium kicks off at 19:10.
Free State Cheetahs:
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12.
Jaco Taute, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Godlen Masimla, 8.
Nizaam Carr (captain), 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 5. Ruan
Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17. JP Smith, 18. Jan de
Klerk, 19. Chris Cloete, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Dillyn